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How Are You Doing Financially in Japan?
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How Are You Doing Financially in Japan?
I'm Thriving. Making & Saving A lot of Money
42%
 42%  [ 6 ]
I'm Just Doing Okay. Enjoying My Life Here & Managing To Save a Bit.
21%
 21%  [ 3 ]
Money's Too Tight To Mention.
35%
 35%  [ 5 ]
Total Votes : 14

Author Message
TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1548
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kzjohn wrote

Quote:
You need another choice in your poll:


Good for you!

Japan’s talking about raising the retirement age, so I may have a long way to go. Maybe the pensionable age will be 65 by the time I get there.

However, I can’t complain because the kinds of teaching positions I hold provide time off during school holidays so I can do side projects or travel or relax and recover from intense teaching situations.
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rxk22



Joined: 19 May 2010
Posts: 1628

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No doubt the retirement age will have to go up. Also unless you have a private pension, it's only 72,000 yen or so per month. That is basically rent, or food a month. You, I mean everyone needs to personally save for retirement. I started a NISA account a few years ago and have been feeding it now and again.
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kzjohn



Joined: 30 Apr 2014
Posts: 277

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TokyoLiz wrote:
...
Japan’s talking about raising the retirement age, so I may have a long way to go. Maybe the pensionable age will be 65 by the time I get there.
...


My school was 65 for faculty, 60 for staff, & while both can be kept on after that (特任教授, probably something similar for staff), I had no problem with just stopping. My last day was about 14 months ago.

My direct knowledge only extends to a few places. It's also 65 for teachers at a small uni I once worked at in Tokyo (ICU), same at a local 県立大. At a big local tech/engineering school, it's 60. (in either case, the March 31st following that birthday)

*

Tho I've traveled some, my wife's a few years behind me (still working), so weekdays I'm the dinner cook (I enjoy it), along with shopping, laundry, etc.
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Black_Beer_Man



Joined: 26 Mar 2013
Posts: 453
Location: Yokohama

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

taikibansei wrote:
I've posted links to the exact figures before: basically, university faculty here earn over 500,000 yen/month on average. They get lots of other perks too.

There are nearly 800 Japanese universities (including two-year colleges). Currently, there are over 21,000 foreigners working at these schools. Of this number, 8099 are full-time with tenure.

I (and others) have posted and posted here on how to get these jobs. That said, finding a full-time university position is about to become much more difficult, as the big hiring push (that I reported on here four years ago) has come to an end. Still, good jobs remain available.


Getting a university teaching job in Japan is unrealistic for most foreigners. You need qualifications galore including publications. The rest of us have to consider ourselves lucky to make 250,000 yen / month working dispatch or in an eikaiwa.
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1548
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Getting a university teaching job in Japan is unrealistic for most foreigners. You need qualifications galore including publications. The rest of us have to consider ourselves lucky to make 250,000 yen / month working dispatch or in an eikaiwa.


In my nearly 20 years here, I’ve known dozens of people who’ve bootstrapped themselves from dispatch ALT work while doing MA programs. They moved on to high school teaching or university jobs. It takes effort, perseverance and some planning.

I, too, did a big chunk of an MA TESOL while working dispatch and then municipal direct hire. I’m not a terribly great academic. I work really hard at research and writing. I published and did conference presentations while I was doing course work. I didn’t wait for my MA to be conferred.

I glanced at Ohayo Sensei today. Right now is the low season for job hunting, but there are ECE, high school and other jobs paying ¥300,000 + for qualified teachers.
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1548
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kzjohn wrote

Quote:
My direct knowledge only extends to a few places. It's also 65 for teachers at a small uni I once worked at in Tokyo (ICU), same at a local 県立大. At a big local tech/engineering school, it's 60. (in either case, the March 31st following that birthday)


My school retires teachers at 60, but quite a few stay on part time.

I’m paying into the teacher pension besides national pension. I’ve got my own investment plan besides.

Do you also have a teacher pension?
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The Transformer



Joined: 03 Mar 2017
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even starting off a distance MA (which usually takes 3 years) will enhance your job prospects. I've got a friend who started a distance MA and managed to step up to a better-paying ALT job as result, earning 300k yen a month. Just starting off on one can enhance your career prospects. I know another guy who recently completed his MA and got a job at a uni, earning 500k a month, with very good holidays, and he's been in Japan nearly 20 years, working in eikaiwa and direct hire.

(As a footnote, the fact that I know people at this particular uni did cause some consternation with one particular poster on this thread (I won't name him or the uni in case I set him off again), who was determined to outclass me with his much vaster knowledge of the Japanese uni scene. I see he's been told off for other petulant arguments on here with people. Hopefully he's calmed down now and learned some manners)
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1548
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Transformer wrote
Quote:
Even starting off a distance MA (which usually takes 3 years) will enhance your job prospects. I've got a friend who started a distance MA and managed to step up to a better-paying ALT job as result, earning 300k yen a month.


This. Many schools are interested in hiring MA candidates who will do research and enhance their programs as the teacher progresses through their MA.

Another career booster here is JLPT. I survived N2 last December. I’ll attempt N1 this year. When I mentioned it to teacher friends, they told their institutions and I got invitations to interviews.

Btw, I haven’t received any classroom Japanese instruction in 10 years. I lived with monolingual Japanese people and read a lot. And Like I say, I’m not strong academically.
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The Transformer



Joined: 03 Mar 2017
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fees and financing of doing MAs and further study can be off-putting to people, but when you work out the extra income my friend has earned over 3 years - going from an entry-level ALT/eikaiwa job paying 230-250k a month, to one that pays 300k, with pay increments - he's probably earned at least 2m yen extra over the 3 years of an MA. That should cover most if not all of the costs of the fees.

I should add that he was in his late forties when he started his MA (he came to Japan in his early forties working in eikaiwa for 5 or 6 years), so age isn't something you should worry about either. Obviously the earlier you do it though, the more you'll be able to do with your career and the more financial return you'll potentially get for it.
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1548
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Transformer wrote

Quote:
The fees and financing of doing MAs and further study can be off-putting to people, but when you work out the extra income my friend has earned over 3 years - going from an entry-level ALT/eikaiwa job paying 230-250k a month, to one that pays 300k, with pay increments - he's probably earned at least 2m yen extra over the 3 years of an MA. That should cover most if not all of the costs of the fees.


Again, this.

The MA program I was in allowed me to pay for courses as I went, so that reduced the financial strain.

The course work was interesting and I could relate it to my work immediately. The projects I did for the MA were based on my classrooms. And it gave me access to libraries full of journals on TESOL, anthropology, Japanese cultural studies that helped me put my Japan experience into perspective. So being in school can be a lot more than just getting a teacher education.

And then I got better paying jobs, and recouped my costs in less than a year.

Many people I know started after 40. I was in my late 30s when I started.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1562
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not agree. I have a MA but it is not enough. Now I see a demand for people with a PhD. This for jobs that last just 4-5 years.
There are fewer jobs than before and starting next year, enrollments will fall at universities. These schools are trying hard to save money.

At one university in Tokyo I counted 530 part-time teachers there, and not so many who are full-time.

If I worked on Saturday I could make more money. I go to Japanese class instead.

Most schools do not care about Japanese ability but some do.
As usual, schools want younger people. I know people in their 50s with PhDs who are stuck working part-time.

Most schools do not advertise. It is all about who you know.
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dove



Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Posts: 271
Location: USA/Japan

PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I worked in Japan up until 2013, so my experience is outdated. But I'll share anyway. I was able to save a lot of money because I was one of those teachers who self-sponsored and I filled my schedule with private lessons, company classes, part time eikaiwa lessons, university classes, community center classes (I refused to teach kids or at junior high schools; university classes were my least favorite). I worked 6 days a week, 12 hour-days. It was tough, but I loved not being a full-timer at any place because I didn't have to attend boring enkai parties or meetings. I came and did my job and then went the hell to my next job or went the hell home. Yes, I was single. Yes, I spent lots of time on trains, going all over the place. Yes, I was tired a lot. But I read so many books, met a wide variety of students (seniors at community centers were my favourites; college students my least as I previously stated). I could introduce different types of activities with my private students and my business classes to counteract the utter bs methodology I was forced to do at the eikaiwa and at some universities.
I lived in a share house my last 2 years, I paid a lot for my national insurance, (usually 49,000 yen a month), but I was making a lot (teaching private lessons to a doctor helped a lot). I saved enough to move to Brazil and open up a private business. I'm still in Brazil. loving every moment of being self-employed.
I miss Japan a lot because although I was always on the go, I was making it work and I was so damn independent with my self-sponsored visa (I felt self-employed) I know this lifestyle wouldn't work if I had kids or if I were in a relationship. I also know I'm sharing events from 5 years ago. But I am in touch with a few teachers in Tokyo who are still doing what I did. Just wanted to drop in and share.
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1562
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To make that happen, people should live in central Tokyo, or at least somewhere like Suginami, Setagaya, Ota, or Kita wards.

I live out in a suburb, and have two dogs to walk, so I have less time to work.

University work can be tough as many schools give teachers just a couple classes per day. It forces teachers to find work in the afternoon or evening.

There are too many teachers in Tokyo, so personal connections are important.
I found my last two jobs on Facebook.
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Sudz



Joined: 09 Aug 2004
Posts: 438

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Private junior high/high school gigs can be a good option for those with experience/qualifications. Pay is usually quite decent, and there is the possibility of becoming permanent. Having an MA TESOL/teaching degree definitely helps, though isn't always a requirement (half the teachers at my school don't have one).

That said, while the money is good, the workload can be heavy (though the vacation time helps).
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1562
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These schools don't tend to advertise although there is one website
in Japanese that I know about for private secondary schools.
Some do demand that teachers have a Japanese teaching license.
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